Saturday, 30 July 2011

Changing the bed

My little bed has had a change of quilt.
Spools quilt, hand pieced and quilted.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Quilt Show

My Visitors' Choice

Made by Helen Shimell for a raffle


Medallion quilt by Chris Llewellyn

Jan Ward Kerrie's Quilt, a split 9-Patch from Westminster Fabrics
I went with friends to the annual Quilt Show in aid of the Heart of Kent Hospice. It's held in a restored barn in the grounds of Aylesford Priory. Lots of small charity quilts were suspended from the rafters and other quilts from a wide range of people were on show. My Visitors' Choice was No. 72 Carrie Nelson designed quilt  quilt made by Chris Llewellyn using the Moda French General line of fabrics.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

U3A Quilt By the way U3A stands for University of the Third Age where people teach for and learn for free apart from subs to cover costs and basic expenses. Check on the opening link to find out more. Our Canterbury Branch is approaching 1000 members and we are lucky to have lots of ex-academics and teachers.
Anyway the U3A quilt started at a taster day is making good progress. The layout has been decided, the blocks framed with strips and are now layered up ready to quilt. The one shown is 1C, a favourite and the top right block with extra backing and wadding allowed to accommodate stitching and flipping the borders later. I'm using Hobbs 80/20 cotton/poly in black as the colours are mostly dark and I had two pieces left over from full batts.
Quilt as you go block with room for adding border

Framed tumbling blocks


Choosing frames for the blocks

Monday, 25 July 2011

Janome Club day

Cathy's West/East hanging

Shelagh's rosette table runner

Ruffler attachment
Another meeting of the Janome Club. Cityquilter commented on my last post that I was lucky to belong to so many groups. I am but I am finding the diary is filling up with just too many dates so yesterday I told Cathy the upcoming August meeting would be my last. She understood but kindly suggested she would keep me on the list and send the emails about plans for the next meeting but it was fine if I only went along once or twice a year. I'm very happy about this as it's a lovely friendly group with people from a wide area whom I don't meet otherwise and covering a wide range of activities and approaches including lots of machine embroidery. If I join something I always feel I must make a commitment so I think I've been to all the meetings since joining last year. I have learnt a lot. This time I was pleased to see another rosette table runner (Jeane Gentry pattern from British P&Q magazine) but enhanced by machine embroidery and fascinated by Margaret's electric binding maker. Also Cathy suggested stitches for machine applied binding which I hadn't thought of before.
Margaret binding maker

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Crab & Winkle night

C&W meeting tonight and a definite end of term feeling as it is the last day of the school term and lots of cards thanking Mary who works in a school. We ate cup cakes off a lovely cake stand which deserved a picture in its own right. However all I have here is Melanie's WIP, a single gerbera as requested by her sister in law. The petals are beautifully edged and finished and I like the mixture of cream neutrals in the background. This all seems to have taken shape amazingly quickly.
Maggie is hand quilting a beautiful piece of work intended as a quilt to adorn a bench outside her house - when someone is using it, not permanently. Again it seems to have appeared rapidly. I love the red spotted fabric and the unlikely but very effective combinations of pattern and colour.
Back late

Thursday, 21 July 2011

U3A Blocks

I've had a very enjoyable time taking all the sewn units from our U3A day and making them into 9 blocks to go with the two Crow's Nest blocks completed on the day and the hexagons still in progress. I did them one by one taking more extreme measures to combine them. I enjoyed working with the students' choices of colours and making things fit!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

U3A Taster Day

It was a busy start to the week. Monday, Usual Suspects met at my house and we sewed all day but on ongoing hand projects so no photos. Yesterday was a major effort day as six ladies came to my house for a quick run through aspects of P&Q from English paper pieced hexagons to stack and slash with templates, rotary cutting and foundation piecing in between. They were all super and you can see from the pictures they really enjoyed the day as did I but boy was I tired at the end. Today though all is tidy, my body restored by a Pilates session and I'm out for a meal tonight so after all recent excitements including our Quilt Show normal life is restored and I'm going to sew this afternoon.
Getting out and putting away quilts has focused my mind on the ones that are just tops. While I have my machine quilting set up I think I had better get round to one or two.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Charity Quilting

I spent a day with a very nice group of ladies working on kitted quilts for the Fostering Network. I was looking forward to a days destressing and being told what to do after being the lead person for our quilt show. However this is not my sort of "charity" quilting as I like to make something which would be acceptable to my own grandchildren or children I know. I suppose this means the number I give in this way is relatively small whereas this group gives A LOT. So I accept this is horses for courses. However, most worrying was the attitude of the person in charge who semed to imply the recipients were not worthy of our going to too much trouble, that they wouldn't care for the quilts and if we met some of them we wouldn't much like them. If worthiness came into everything especially charity we would all get short shrift in some respect or other. So for ties I have used yarn which will felt attractively after washing and have added some machine quilting to make the quilt sturdier. The design is effective but I won't be going to this group again. I like to feel my tolerance is infinite but I'm reaching the conclusion it isn't and sometimes it's better not to test it too far.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

After the Show

Challenge items: Pauline's winning entry is bottom left and looked super when held up at the end.
Vanessa's challenge cushion
Helen's Celtic Quilt
My challenge cushion
It was Quay Quilters last night, a real end of term feeling and a splendid turnout of members, all of us I believe. It's a good idea to withhold the identity of the Viewers' Choice winner until the meeting. It was voted in by a wide margin and a very popular choice, Helen's Celtic quilt. I voted for a lovely Baltimore quilt by the same maker.
We also heard who had won the Challenge which was a small item on the theme of illusion. I never do challenges but for the group I feel I should make an effort, here combining my need for some new sofa cushions with making a challenge item. I now realise I should have created a more definite illusion by using two shades of each colour in each row though I would have found these difficult to source. My choice was Vanessa's cushion which used transparency and was a beautiful piece of work. Mags the judge gave a very good run down of her short list and the reason for her choice. When I saw Pauline's I realise I hadn't looked closely enough at the entries.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Ferret at Oast

Add caption
 Ferret spoke at Oast on Saturday and gave workshops on following days. Her talk was lively and amusing and her quilts are definitely one offs. The cattle quilt on the right of the stage won a major prize at FOQ and was all made on her longarm machine.
The turning twenty quilt was a pattern she and her students grew to love!

Turning Twenty

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Quay Quilters' Show

Our show went very well better, I suspect, than any of us expected but we had some truly wonderful quilts on display both traditional and contemporary and lovely work covering a wide gamut of tastes and experience. We ate lots of cake and homemade biscuits and delicious lunches brought in by members. As well as enjoying seeing our work hanging up we have also achieved our goal of covering our expenses and raising a significant sum for our charity the Pilgrims' hospice.
You can check out a good selection at the following site:

Here is my Bee Scene Quilt which combines traditional Honey Bee blocks with hand applique. It's hand quilted and has been on the go for fifteen years with gaps. I was pleased to see it hang for the first time. I used Hobbs Tuscany wool wadding which was like butter to quilt through and gives a soft and puffy feel to the quilt.

I still have unpacking to do but can now get on with making more quilts. The unpacking has been delayed a bit by a Helping Hands day today making a kitted up charity quilt.

Thousand Pyramids tied charity quilts

Friday, 1 July 2011


Most of this week I have been deep in show planning and preparations but all week I have looked forward to this planned day out together to Charleston, home for many years to Vanessa Bell, painter sister of Virginia Woolf, and the love of her life, Duncan Grant. I suspect the farmhouse was a hugely uncomfortable place to live especially by modern standards but aesthetically had much to offer as surfaces were decorated and chairs and curtains were in fabrics designed by the artists. Our tour was much enhanced by our wonderful guide who held our interest with her enthusiasm, humour and personal touch.
An unexpected bonus was a small exhibition on a floral theme in the little gallery by designer Kaffe Fassett who visits Charleston for inspiration.

Gallery view

Looking the other way

Bell's painting of the annunciation in Berwick Church


View of studio windows

Tessellated tiles on museum stairs

As for the show I can see difficulties in regards to the hanging and possible solutions but can do no more until I see just how many stands we have. Once up all should be enjoyable plain sailing and the time will pass quickly. I shall be flat out but there will be a sense of loss when it's over. However at present I am quite wound up - I'll be doing some food prep. this weekend so I can contribute to the catering, lugging stands down from my loft and writing a big to take list and assembling it.